Gender Neutrality of Law is a Myth Essay

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Gender Neutrality of Law is a Myth

The status of women as empowered citizens around the world is yet to be ascertained. Guided by the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it seems as if the trend towards a just social order reflects a better tomorrow, and yet, thousands of women suffer from the brutal crimes and atrocities committed by their male counterparts. Deeply woven into the social fabric of society, women face the onslaught of a patriarchal legal system - be it by the denial of fundamental rights in Afghanistan or the exclusion from property interests in India. Women still struggle as the marginalised gender in many parts of the world. This leaves considerable room for scrutiny of whether
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The feminist movement has emerged as a defining force that worked towards highlighting and correcting inequalities and prejudices supported by seemingly neutral laws, through policy development. It marked the birth of a new political group who focussed on exposing the reality of gender neutral laws, campaigned for equality in the private and public sphere, stressed on women’s representation in political arenas and demanded a growth of feminist literature. Thus feminism heralded a significant critique of the legal landscape that governed the construction of socio-political equality in society, predominantly stressing on ‘law’s role in perpetuating patriarchal hegemony’ .

The development of law as an instrument of justice has long been the directive principle of ‘modern’ society. It seeks to protect and promote security, liberty and property of each individual , along with the promise to right the wrongs committed, and it assures a remedy for injustice. This representation of the law has given its political expression in the concept of the ‘Rule of Law’ - that is, the legal doctrine that all human beings are equal under the law and can expect from it a neutral and unbiased determination of their rights . Associated with liberalism, it rests upon the philosophy of rationality, objectivity, formal equality and impartiality. It creates an

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